What is Saffron?

Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus Sativus, commonly known as “Saffron Crocus”.

What is Saffron Thread?

The Vivid Crimson stigma and styles are called thread.

What is the Thread used for?

They are used mainly as seasoning however there are lots of health benefits to Saffron.

Where does the best saffron come from?

Historically the best saffron comes from north east (NE) of Iran.

What does saffron taste like?

It has a somewhat bitter taste when it is used dry, however it has an earthy flavour when it is added to the food.

Where does the taste of Saffron come from?

Picrocrocin is responsible for Saffron’s somewhat bitter flavor.

What does the aroma of Saffron smell like?

It is a complex and woody scent, sweet and kind of floral. The best things to do is t0 purchase quality saffron.

What does the aroma of Saffron come from?

Saffranal is the main active ingredient which gives saffron much of its distinct aroma.

What is the Persian history of Saffron

Saffron was being cultivated in ancient Persia. Persian Saffron threads have been found interwoven into ancient Persian royal carpets and funeral shrouds.

How was Saffron used in ancient Persia?

Ancient Persian worshippers were using Saffron as a ritual offering to their divinities, in golden-red dye, perfume, and medicine.

What is the origin of the word Saffron?

The word “saffron” is borrowed from Arabic زَعْفَرَان (za’farān), and ultimately from Persian زرپران (zarparān) which means “golden leaves”.

What time of the year is the Persian Saffron harvest season?

Saffron crocus is harvested mid-October till mid- November in Northeast of Iran and Afghanistan.

What is the best time of day to harvest Persian Saffron?

Saffron flower is picked early morning before dawn when the flowers are not fully open yet to produce the quality saffron.

What weather might affect harvest season / time?

A Cold snap might bring the harvest time closer.

What type of climate does Saffron Crocus need in order to grow and produce best Saffron?

It requires a very distinct climate for the saffron flowers to grow. A dry hot summer and cold fall/winter are the most important conditions for growth and produce quality saffron.

How many flowers are needed to produce 1kg of Saffron?

Each saffron flower has 3 stigmas, and it requires 150,000-200,000 flowers to produce 1kg of saffron.

Are Saffron harvests and processing done by machine?

This laborious job from plantation, to harvest, separating and sorting, drying, and packing are all done by hand. How each steps is done affect the Saffron quality at the end.

How should I prepare Saffron?

To get the best of aroma and color, you may ground the saffron into powder with pestle and mortar. Leave it in warm water for 10-15 minutes and then add it to your food or beverages.

You may also add Saffron thread to your beverages to enjoy the color and aroma.

Why is Saffron the most expensive spice in the world?

It takes a tremendous amount of work to produce saffron. It is all done by hand and it is a very labour-intensive job. It takes 170,000-200,000 flowers to produce 1Kg of saffron. The process of picking should be before sunrise and process same day to produce quality saffron.
The plants are also very climate sensitive and require extensive maintenance. Mother nature, cold snaps and frost play huge roles.

What type of Saffron should I use? Thread or powder?

We recommend using saffron thread. It should be ground just before use for two reasons:
– It is much easier to incorporates other products to increase the weight and enhance the color.
– Saffron potency stays with the thread but once is it crushed and powdered loses its potency faster.

What is common adulteration in Saffron?

Yes, there are lots of ways that dye, or other materials added to saffron increase the weight and color. It is also easier to make powder saffron weight more than other types. That is why you should know your source.

How do I keep my Saffron quality?

Saffron should be kept in a tight container, away from light and (moisture).

What are the different formats of Saffron?

– Pushali :Red stigmas plus some yellow style; sometimes joined 2 or 3 at style, lower strengths, floral waste.
– Bunch( dasteh) Bunch” saffron is red stigmas plus large amounts of yellow style, presented in tiny bundles that are often tied
– Sargol (Zargol) Red stigma tips only. Often marketed as the most valuable saffron format, but this is not true. Negin is the highest quality format.
– Super Negin all red stigmas. Paradis – fullest all red, long thread; most luxurious grade – extensive processing requirements.

How the quality of Saffron is measured

According to International Standards Organization (ISO) 3632 Standards,  Saffron is categorized into 4 primary classifications for quality.
The quality of saffron is mostly measured by Crocin which is the active ingredient responsible for coloring strength. The higher the coloring strength, the higher the quality of saffron. it is represented as a digit and anything higher than 190 considered Grade 1 saffron. Of course other actives such as Safranal (aroma) and Picrocrocin (taste) are measured and considered pertinent towards the grade of saffron.

How much Saffron is safe to use?

Persian use saffron in everything, it could be used for stew, risotto, rice and dessert…. For serving of 4-6 people a Paradise sachet of 250mg would be enough.
For a pot of tea/beverages you also may use a Paradis sachet of 100mg.
Note that when you use quality saffron a small amount goes a long way.  A pinch equal about 20 threads of saffron and Paradis saffron has made it easy with “Paradis 100mg sachet”. Most recipes require for more than one pinch per serving more than 3-4.

What differentiates Paradise Saffron packaging from others?

Paradise saffron has taken innovative approach to keep the quality of saffron maximized and easy for consumers to use. A single sachet in two sizes (100mg, 250mg) provides both peace of mind and quality assurance of our Paradise Persian Saffron. You can use what you need without exposing all your precious saffron to light and air.

What type of soil is required for the Saffron flower to grow well?

In order for the Crocus sativus plant to grow well , it requires low-density soils, well-watered and drained, with a clay-calcareous composition, and highly a organic content. ~2-3 Tons of soil required for every hectare of land.

What are the benefits of Saffron?

Saffron is the mild anti-depressant, helps with PMS and a natural mood elevator. There are lots of studies conducted in the worlds which document the positive effects of saffron usage on Cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer, Dementia, also Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). However, if you plan to use it for medicinal purposes consult your doctor.

Is it hard to cook with Saffron?

Saffron is an interesting spice to use when it comes to cooking. You do not need to be an experienced chef in order to use saffron. Try in a recipe you would like, be innovative and you will not regret it. It is not the type of spice that will ruin the flavor, color, or aroma of your dish, rather it makes an interesting fusion. There is no wrong or right.

Is it safe to buy Saffron online?

Yes, but it is especially important to research your source and but quality saffron for the price you pay.